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The Force has Awakened!
I am a long time fan of the franchise, and remembering the excitement I felt for Ep 1. i remember the disappointment even more. The entire film was just really bland, with no wit or fun characters. Without going into the Ep. 1 too much, I was very happy to know this was potentially better than any previous Star Wars material. The story was well established, and well executed. J.J is excellent at showing, rather than telling and exceeds at this in the beautiful world he created. The only exception would be the Snoke character who stuck out a bit. I will be looking forward to his character development in future films though. John Boyega has a lot of charisma as Finn, Oscar Isaac is great as Po Dameron, and Daisey Ridley is exceptional as Rey. The show stealer for me was Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. His performance is amazing, and he encapsulates everything necessary for illustrating the struggle that Jedi's have with the light and dark side. I am super excited for my 2nd viewing, and for the upcoming Rogue One film next December!
God's Not Dead (2014)
Terrible Christian propaganda piece disguised as a movie
As someone who takes a lot of interest in the effect of religion on the mind and society, I was quite eager to see a well produced film that would explore challenging the faith of a student. I was hoping for this to be a subjective look at what someone who's faith has been challenged but rather was given the same, worn out argument a for why God does exist.
This misses the whole point of a movie. A movie isn't supposed to affirm your beliefs, no matter how petty they are. All this film does is preach to an audience that they know will buy tickets too, instead of creating something original. Had they gone for the latter, they could have truly explored why some people lose faith and why some people keep their faith.
This film completely undermines its audience by assuming they are all idiots, which most of them are and need to be spoon fed a happy story about how the good Christian defeated the evil atheist in a debate. Maybe respect your audience and don't tell a one sided story if you want to be taken seriously.